Zinedine Zidane has said he has "never felt untouchable" as Real Madrid coach, and admitted that the club's on-field crisis is the most difficult he's faced in the job.
Zidane's position has come under huge pressure -- despite winning La Liga just five months ago -- after a nightmare month saw the team win just one of their last five matches in all competitions.
That run left Madrid seven points off the top of La Liga and needing a Champions League win against Borussia Monchengladbach next week to guarantee avoiding an embarrassing first-ever group stage elimination.
"I've never thought I was untouchable," Zidane said at a news conference ahead of Saturday's La Liga clash with Sevilla. "Never. Not as a player, or as a coach, or as a person."
Zidane was a club legend as a player, even before winning three consecutive Champions League trophies in his first spell as coach between 2016 and 2018.
"Yes, for sure [it's the most difficult situation I've faced]," he said. "But we've had difficult moments, we've always had criticism. Today it's the same, maybe it's stronger, but I always think positive. Tomorrow we have the chance to show we're a good team."
Sources at the club have told ESPN that "there is no debate around the manager" and that -- with reservations over some aspects of his management -- Zidane still enjoyed support at board level, and from his players.
"Yes, completely," he said when asked if he'd felt that support this week. "From the club, from everyone... [The players] have always shown me their affection. But that isn't the most important thing. The most important thing is knowing we'll come through this together."
Real Madrid face Sevilla on Saturday and Monchengladbach on Wednesday before a potentially decisive week culminates in a derby with in-form Atletico Madrid at the weekend.
Despite the importance of those games, Zidane said he "wouldn't take any risks" on the fitness of captain Sergio Ramos, who has been out for the last two weeks with a hamstring injury picked up on international duty.